Being diagnosed with diabetes can be life changing. Along with learning how to use insulin to control your blood sugar, you also have to reevaluate your diet so that you can start making smarter food choices that support your health. Knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid can be challenging. However, it is well worth taking the time to learn as much as you can about proper nutrition since it can make a dramatic different in your health.
One thing you may be surprised to learn is that the best food for diabetes isn’t that much different than what you would find in a typical healthy diet. Following a diabetic-friendly diet doesn’t mean that you have to forgo all sweets or eat nothing but bland, boring food. Instead, you can still enjoy a delicious diet that is filled with some of your favorite foods. The key lies in finding the right balance between protein, carbohydrates and fat. We will discuss some of the best tips to help you get started.
Focus on adding more non-starchy vegetables to your diet. You don’t have to eat only fresh vegetables. Frozen and canned are fine as well. Skip vegetables that are high in starch such as potatoes, peas and corn in favor of low-starch options such as spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and lettuce.
Switch to foods that are made with whole grains. Most processed foods that you find at the grocery store are made with refined grains or bleached flour. Switching to foods that are made from whole grains can reduce the impact of these foods on your blood sugar by slowing down the amount of time that they take to digest. When shopping for cereal, crackers, bread, or bread-based snacks, opt for whole-grain options whenever possible.
Add healthy fats to your diet. This includes olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, and olives. These fats can help slow down digestion which, in turn, can minimize sudden spikes in blood sugar.
Opt for lean protein such as fish, chicken or turkey. Eggs, beans and low-fat cuts of beef or pork are also good choices.
There is a common misconception that people with diabetes have to avoid sugar at all costs. In fact, however, dessert can be a part of a healthy diet. You just have to make smart choices and enjoy it in moderation. Always eat dessert along with a meal rather than on its own. This will help control sudden blood sugar spikes. Additionally, consider choosing fatty desserts. The fat can help slow down the speed at which the dessert is digested, minimizing its impact on blood sugar. Finally, keep your portion sizes in control. For instance, you may want to limit yourself to half of the amount that you would normally eat.
Learning about the best food for diabetes can help you maintain better control over your blood sugar. Focus on eating a diet that includes lean protein, whole grains, low-starch vegetables and healthy fats. Use moderation when it comes to sugar, opting for small portion sizes of traditional desserts, or replacing high-sugar desserts with fruit.